A Kenyan company (Pfoofy Power & Light Limited) has created and converted solar system to power-up an electric motorbike, an invention that will both revolutionise the transport industry of Kenya as well as providing low cost transportation.
Named ‘Ecotran’, this unique initiative provides affordable transport to rural Kenyan communities through the use of electric motorcycles. Ecotran is an initiative brought in place to curb the high costs of fuel, overpricing of fares by leading and commercial motorbike (bodaboda) operators and the associated environmental degradation in the off-grid populations.
According to Charles Ogingo, a co-founder of Pfoofy, “Electricity is not available to everyone, therefore, solar energy is viable in Kenya. These solar-powered bikes can ride for 60 kilometres before switching to reserve fuel and their next recharge. Therefore, they can get fully charged batteries from the stations at only Sh200.”
The Ecotran initiative involves the recharging of these electric motorcycles through colossal solar charging stations which are then hired out to trained company drivers for the purpose of transporting goods and services within the markets the company covers.
Ecotran currently has a fleet of 3 motorcycles recharged through a 1kw solar charging station. Work is also underway to scale this initiative through funding from The United States African Development Foundation that will see Pfoofy set up two 10kW solar charging stations to service extra 40 electric motorcycles.
Currently around 80% of the Kenyan population does not have connection to the electricity. Many of the non-connected households spend almost a quarter of the family income on Kerosene and another quarter to pay for expensive transport in order to connect with the urban communities. However all this huge spending can be alleviated by initiatives like the ones that are offered by Pfoofy Power & Light Limited, projects such as the Ecotran which is delivering affordable and sustainable Energy to the people.